Jazz Religion, the Second Line, and Black New Orleans, New Edition

Jazz Religion, the Second Line, and Black New Orleans, New Edition

After Hurricane Katrina
Richard Brent Turner
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/17/2016
Format: Paperback 15 b&w
ISBN: 978-0-253-02494-7
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An examination of the musical, religious, and political landscape of black New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina, this revised edition looks at how these factors play out in a new millennium of global apartheid. Richard Brent Turner explores the history and contemporary significance of second lines—the group of dancers who follow the first procession of church and club members, brass bands, and grand marshals in black New Orleans’s jazz street parades. Here music and religion interplay, and Turner’s study reveals how these identities and traditions from Haiti and West and Central Africa are reinterpreted. He also describes how second line participants create their own social space and become proficient in the arts of political disguise, resistance, and performance.

Author Bio

Richard Brent Turner is Professor of Religious Studies and African American Studies at the University of Iowa. He is author of Islam in the African-American Experience (IUP, 2003). In the late 1990s, Turner lived in New Orleans while teaching at Xavier University.


“With this book Turner issues both a warning and reassurance that while post–Hurricane Katrina New Orleans is changing, the vibrant traditions of jazz religion and second lines must continue.”
 — Journal of African American History

“People who were there should read this book. People who were not there must read it.”
 — PopMatters

“I highly recommend this text to undergrads, grads, faculty, and researchers. Its pages unfold critical analysis for the advanced scholar, and its prose makes clear a complex culture to the casual learner.”
 — Journal of African American Studies

“Turner straddles religion, music, the performance arts, languages, nationalities, and identities skillfully . . . with aplomb, with brio, in a language all his own that sings.”
 — Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, editor of Haitian Vodou

“A well-written, well-researched, thoughtful, and generative book.”
 — George Lipsitz, University of California, Santa Barbara

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Second Edition
Selected Bibliography for the Second Edition

Introduction: Follow the Second Line
1. The Haiti-New Orleans Vodou Connection: Zora Neale Hurston as Initiate Observer
2. Mardi Gras Indians and Second Lines, Sequin Artists and Rara Bands: Street Festivals and Performances in New Orleans and Haiti

Interlude: The Healing Arts of African Diasporic Religion

3. In Rhythm with the Spirit: New Orleans Jazz Funerals and the African Diaspora
Epilogue. A Jazz Funeral for "A City That Care Forgot": The New Orleans Diaspora after Hurricane Katrina


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